Tenants Victoria Legal Service Privacy Policy

This statement describes how Tenants Victoria Legal Service will collect and use your private and confidential information. Protecting your privacy and personal information is an important part of how we manage our legal service.

Rights and obligations

Tenants Victoria has obligations, and you have rights, under Commonwealth and Victorian privacy law. Privacy laws apply when we collect, use, disclose and dispose of your personal information. Personal information includes information that identifies you or could identify you, for example, your name, address or phone number, or identifying details from your legal matter.

As a legal practice we also have legal and ethical obligations in relation to confidentiality. Lawyers must not disclose any client information that has come to them in their professional capacity and in the legitimate course of their professional employment except with your consent or in very narrow circumstances defined by law. Because a client’s instructions are given to the legal practice and not just the individual lawyer, the duty is binding on all staff and volunteers at Tenants Victoria.

Meaning of ‘personal information’

Personal information means information or an opinion about an identifiable individual. The sort of personal information we collect includes name, address, telephone and email contact details, complaint details and information that is relevant to the task we are performing for you.

Your consent

By providing us with information about yourself through this website or otherwise, you consent to the collection, use, disclosure and transfer of that information as set out in this Privacy Policy.

If we change this Privacy Policy we will post the changes on this website, and may place notices on other pages of this website, so that you may be aware of the information we collect and how we use it at all times. The changes will take effect as soon as they are posted on this website.

Information we collect about you and how we use and disclose it

We may collect information about you in a number of circumstances, including: when you seek assistance from us regarding a tenancy issue; when you make an enquiry on any area of the website; when you attend a seminar or other event provided by us; when you sign up to receive information from us, including training; when you apply for or accept employment with us; or when you offer to provide or provide services to us.

We will not use unlawful, unreasonably intrusive or coercive methods of gathering information about you.

The information we collect will include your name, postal address, email address, telephone number, date of birth, who you live with, your source of income, your income level, whether you live with a disability, whether you identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, whether you were born overseas and the language you speak at home, whether you are experiencing family violence, the gender you identify as, and any other information that is relevant to the legal services that we provide. From time to time, it may include information about your health information and details of any criminal record you may have.

If you do not provide information requested by us, we may not be able to provide services to you or otherwise fulfil the purpose for which we have requested the information.

We may also collect, use and disclose personal data or information where it is reasonably necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim, or for the purposes of a confidential alternative dispute resolution process.

We are required to report regularly to both Victorian State and Commonwealth governments with de-identified statistical information regarding our services and clients.

Ongoing legal assistance from us is subject to our agreement to providing you with assistance. We also collect personal information to:

  • assess your eligibility for legal assistance from us
  • assist our staff in providing you with legal assistance
  • ensure our compliance with legal professional ethics and legislation.

We may also use aggregate information and statistics for the purpose of media and press releases which form part of Tenants Victoria’s social change strategy.

In some circumstances, we collect personal information about you from a third-party source. For example, we may collect personal information from other organisations with which you have dealings, government agencies, and information or service providers or from a publicly available record.

We, our employees, agents, consultants and sub-contractors, may use any of the information about you which we have collected: to provide you with legal advice, assistance and information; to send you our information on news, publications, seminars and events; to improve our services and communications to you; to process your requests of us, and applications to us; and for any other purpose for which the information was provided to us or for any purpose related or ancillary to any of the above.

We may also use personal information or data where we are permitted by law to do so. This includes circumstances where you have expressly or impliedly consented to such use. For example, if you are a client of Tenants Victoria Legal Service, we may disclose your personal information to:

  • Barristers, other legal specialists (including mediators), consultants or experts engaged in your matter; or
  • Other community legal services or social and welfare service providers for the purpose of obtaining further legal advice or other forms of assistance for you.

We may disclose your personal information to our employees, agents, consultants and sub-contractors who assist us in running our organisation, including this website, or provide related services, and who are subject to our security and confidentiality obligations.

Information about other people which you provide to us

If you provide personal information to us about someone else (such as a relative or friend that you are seeking assistance on behalf of) you must ensure that you are entitled to disclose that information to us and that, without our taking any further steps, we may collect, use and disclose that information as described in this Privacy Policy.

In particular, you must ensure the individual concerned is aware of the various matters detailed in this Privacy Policy, as those matters relate to that individual, including our identity, how to contact us, our purposes of collection, our information disclosure practices (including disclosure to overseas recipients), the individual’s right to obtain access to the information and make complaints about the handling of the information, and the consequences if the information is not provided (such as our inability to provide services).

Keeping information about you secure

We will take appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep your information confidential and adequately protected against loss, misuse and unauthorised access. Information may be kept on our information technology systems or in paper files.

Your information will not be retained by us for longer than necessary.

Updating information about you

If any of the information that you have provided to us changes, for example if you change your email address or if you wish to cancel any request you have made of us, please let us know by sending an email to admin@tenantsvic.org.au. 

Your rights

You have the right to request a copy of the personal information about you which we hold, to have any inaccurate personal information corrected and to object to our using your personal information for a marketing purpose. You may also make a complaint if you have a concern about our handling of your personal information.

If you wish to do any of the above please send an email to admin@tenantsvic.org.au or call 03 9411 1444. 

We will consider any complaints which we receive and provide you with a response in a timely manner (usually within 5 days of receipt). If you are not satisfied with our response, you may take your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). You can contact OAIC by calling 1300 363 992, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.

How to contact us

We welcome your views about our website and our Tenants Victoria Legal Service Privacy Policy. If you would like to contact us with any queries or comments, please send an email to admin@tenantsvic.org.au or post a letter to: Tenants Victoria, P.O. Box 234, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065. 

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